I am a former acrylic nail wearer and now have an acrylic overlay over my natural nails. How can I safely remove the overlay and not damage my natural nails? They are a very nice length.
Elizabeth from Kentucky
Try nail polish remover containing Acetone. It will help dissolve the acrylic without nail damage. I know this works for the store bought do-it-yourself kits, but I'm assuming salon nails may have more of a trick to removal, but this cannot hurt your real nails. May dry them a bit, but a little cuticle oil can help that. (07/29/2005)
Nail Polish remover is fine, but if you can purchase pure acetone for salon applied overlays it should help. Chances are your overlay still made your nail week, so cuticle oil is okay, but you will definitely need a nail strengthener over your natural nail.
Best of Luck. (07/29/2005)
Pure Acetone is the best way for sure. I did nails for 13 years. Yes, it is true. Your nails were already damaged by all the pre-filing to get the oil off your nails for the acrylic to adhere.
The best thing to do is get a complete manicure when you take them off. Be patient because it will probably take multiple soakings over the course of an hour or two to get off.
Don't try to force the acrylic off. You will do real damage that will only be remedied when new growth comes. Apply any clear polish everyday after you manicure. Every third day remove and apply new polish. (07/30/2005)
By Fran Marie
First off, not every technique that is suggested is going to work for everyone's acrylic situation. Now, in saying that, if you find that taking off your acrylics are UNBELIEVABLY painful to take off then the most probable cause is an Illegal ingredient found in the acrylic LIQUID. It is called MMA (methyl methacrylate). It doesn't cause any internal damage (as long as you don't ingest it) but what it does do is that it creates an almost unbreakable bond and thus severely damaging the nail plate when taking the acrylics off.
Trust me, I am a Nail Technician and I constantly tell my clients about the MMA ingredient because I've seen HORRIBLY painful looking nails that have been ripped of the nail bed. So if you feel like you have this problem first, don't ever go back to where you got them done, second DON'T remove them yourself. Let a professional do it.
Otherwise, all the other ideas I've seen on this page should work just fine. Just remember you have to be gentle and patient. (08/29/2008)
I've been getting overlays for a while now and my nails are just fine. When I go to the salon, I get them soaked off (hot water in one bowl and acetone in another technique), a mani and a pedi with cuticle care, and designed with my own personal polish because I have a thing about polish used by others. My nails are good and healthy.
Do not take them off yourself.
Do not let the technicians take them off with any cards or whatever they may use because that is how they get horribly damaged.
Do not get fill-ins because they are tacky
Get them professionally soaked off
Get them shaped and manicured and get a pedi for the heck of it (you might as well match)
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